Kerr, Cyril Alexander

Kerr, Cyril Alexander (Cyril)

First Radio Officer

SS Empire Dew (Greenock), Merchant Navy

Died as the result of enemy action on Wednesday 11 June 1941 (aged 29)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tower Hill Memorial (Panel 40)

Family grave headstone in Ballyvester Cemetery, Donaghadee

BIOGRAPHY

First Radio Officer Cyril Alexander Kerr died as the result of enemy action on 11 June 1941, and he is commemorated on the Kerr/Girvin family grave headstone in Ballyvester Cemetery, Donaghadee:

KERR

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

OUR DEAR MOTHER

ANNIE KERR DIED 3RD DECEMBER 1961

ALSO OUR BROTHER

CYRIL LOST AT SEA 11TH JUNE 1941

GIRVIN

IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR PARENTS

JACK GIRVIN DIED 9TH MAY 1985

ZOE GIRVIN DIED 23RD SEPTEMBER 1998

In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour website it is recorded that First Radio Officer Cyril Alexander Kerr was a son of Joseph Alexander Kerr and Annie Bedelia Kerr, of Belfast, Northern Ireland

Cyril Alexander Kerr was born on 4 January 1912 in Fontstown, Athy, Co Kildare and he was a son of Joseph Alexander Kerr and Annie Bedelia Kerr (nee Croly) who were married on 20 July 1899 in Kilmocomogue Parish Church of Ireland Church, Bantry, Co Cork.  Joseph Alexander Kerr, a National Schoolteacher from Union Street, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was a son of Thomas Kerr, a teacher.  Annie Bedelia Croly from Mill View, Bantry, Co Cork was a daughter of the Rev Richard Croly.

Joseph Alexander Kerr and Annie Bedelia Kerr (nee Croly) had at least six children:

Richard Thomas (born 14 October 1900 in Athenree, Termonmaguirk, Omagh, Co Tyrone)

Bedelia Violet (born 5 August 1902 in Athenree, Termonmaguirk, Omagh, Co Tyrone)

Ida Irene (born 14 August 1904 in Athenree, Termonmaguirk, Omagh, Co Tyrone; died of debility 18 August 1904)

Pearl Ivy Ethel (born 21 December 1905 in Athenree, Termonmaguirk, Omagh, Co Tyrone)

Zoe (born 20 June 1910 in Pollranny (Sweeny), Corraun, Achill, Co Mayo)

Cyril Alexander (born 4 January 1912 in Fontstown, Athy, Co Kildare)

During the Second World War, First Radio Officer Cyril Alexander Kerr served aboard the SS Empire Dew which was a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship (DEMS) built by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow and completed in January 1941.  She was in ballast and on route from Liverpool to Father Point, New Brunswick, Canada when she was attacked.

At 2.51 am (German time) on 12 June 1941 the unescorted SS Empire Dew was torpedoed and sunk north of the Azores by the German submarine U-48.  Reports vary as to the precise number and status of those who were killed; some 20 crew members and three DEMS gunners were lost.  The master, John Edward Elsdon, some 18 crew members and at least one DEMS gunner were picked up on 18 June and landed at Liverpool.